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Metascore
65

Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Summary: Tharsis is a turn-based strategy game about humanity’s first mission to Mars. It’s an important mission, and not just because of its potential to greatly increase our knowledge of the red planet. No, this mission is humanity’s attempt to locate the source of a mysterious signal emanatingTharsis is a turn-based strategy game about humanity’s first mission to Mars. It’s an important mission, and not just because of its potential to greatly increase our knowledge of the red planet. No, this mission is humanity’s attempt to locate the source of a mysterious signal emanating from the red planet. [Choice Provisions] Expand

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Tharsis - Teaser Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Jan 11, 2016
    100
    If you like brutally exacting clockwork games with appalling dilemmas, you’ll adore Tharsis.
  2. Jan 12, 2016
    80
    Tharsis, you hate me, but I like you. Your small and meticulous craftsmanship. Your board game sensibilities. Your dancefloor rhythms thumping out the soundtrack to my cyclical death. I couldn't stop myself from voyaging (and dying on the way) to Tharsis again and again.
  3. Jan 14, 2016
    80
    I'm sure the punishing difficulty and numerous unfair dice rolls will turn many gamers against Tharsis, and that's perfectly understandable. However, the reward of actually beating the game truly elevates my spirit. I can only hope that the developers will continue the story with another punishing round that occurs on the red planet itself.
  4. Feb 21, 2016
    65
    Tharsis offers a lots of frustration and excitement, but when it comes to explaining things Tharsis seems to be lacking. The gameplay is a tad repetitive and therefore gets boring swiftly. That is a pity, cause the playing the dice and the good buildup makes Tharsis an interesting game.
  5. 60
    Tharsis is an incredibly meaningful game that has picked a woefully inadequate format to express an innately intelligent idea.
  6. Jan 13, 2016
    60
    Tharsis is an enjoyable game to start, but the frustrations and random nature of the game quickly eliminate the fun.
  7. 40
    Though the mechanics of Tharsis are often exciting and suspenseful, the game ultimately falls short of expectations due to irredeemably punishing dice rolls.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Mar 11, 2016
    8
    Lots of reviews claimed this game is just luck and randomness. After seeing the mechanics in action I was sceptical this was the case andLots of reviews claimed this game is just luck and randomness. After seeing the mechanics in action I was sceptical this was the case and decided to try it out, and I can assure you skill and strategy plays a huge roll. Although I had to try more than 10 times before beating the game (and it did feel very unfair at the beginning), I am now able to consistently win without much trouble. The core mechanics of the game is a lot of fun if you enjoy something like King of Tokyo. The game progression feels a lot like FTL, but progress feels slightly less rewarding (all steps and events are the same, the only difference is difficulty and size of impact). I think therein lies one of the problems with the game. From the first step you are exposed to all aspects of the game, nothing changes. The only thing to discover is a strategy that works. And while finding that strategy is challenging and lots of fun, once you have a solid strategy down it feels almost trivial. Presentation is very corny, the cut scenes and narratives are cringeworthy, but luckily they are skippable. Despite it's flaws if you are looking for a challenging game to scratch that FTL itch, this did it for me. With some very minor tweaks and an easy mode for casual players this could of been a cult classic. Expand
  2. Jan 16, 2016
    8
    This game is like a cross between FTL and Yahtzee. The "tutorial" is a collection of a few tool tips that doesn't explain 10% of the game.This game is like a cross between FTL and Yahtzee. The "tutorial" is a collection of a few tool tips that doesn't explain 10% of the game. Luckily it isn't that complicated that after 4 or 5 attempts it starts to click. Once you do understand what is going on you realize your pass or fail is mostly determined by random draws. Random events are brutal and the game seems almost impossible even on normal. Very much like Klondike solitaire in that sometimes you draw a hand that is impossible no matter what you do. Everything about it is pleasing to the eyes. An undo button on dice placement would be very much welcome. Still very addicting and I keep trying despite never reaching the end of this game. Expand
  3. Jan 13, 2016
    7
    In a Dark-Soulsian sense, Tharsis requires that the player take time to learn the nuances of the gameplay. As a result, death is common; veryIn a Dark-Soulsian sense, Tharsis requires that the player take time to learn the nuances of the gameplay. As a result, death is common; very common. But I slowly saw the distances I would travel in the ship getting farther and farther (until ultimate death) each game. I like that it's a tabletop game in the digital space and each game doesn't last that long. Having a truly successful turn feels great. Ultimately, I died a lot before finally successfully "winning"...but I couldn't stop trying until I had beaten it. The luster wears off a bit once that mountain is climbed (though trophy-hunters will have to go back repeatedly), but, in short, it's bit-sized, challenging, fun, and reasonably replayable. Expand
  4. Jan 14, 2016
    7
    Tharsis is brutal. There really isn't a better way to put it. It takes the intense brutally challenging game type, and makes it into a digitalTharsis is brutal. There really isn't a better way to put it. It takes the intense brutally challenging game type, and makes it into a digital board game experience that is to die for. This game, though hard, does it right, because unlike games like Bloodborne or Demon Souls, Tharsis' matches are so quick that you can run through a dozen matches easily in a half hour or less. (Depending on how often you die, which is a lot) When you start playing Tharsis you really have to prepare yourself for 10 rounds of space hell to try to get your failing ship to Mars. Tharsis goes to the next level when it bases itself around taking that space hell simulation and wrapping it up in a blanket with cannibalism and dice throwing. What isn't there to like? The game forces you to be calculating as you must decide whether to prioritize food, or repairs, or crew members lives in general. You really have to sit and mull over each move to get the most out of each character. My only negative to the game is that it is almost completely luck-based. Some people have figured it out completely and can run through without much issue usually, but I couldn't figure out the intricacies that thoroughly, so my matches just came down to dice throws being good or bad. Luckily, even when you fail over and over you can unlock some characters with better abilities to help you actually make it to Mars. The game seems like it would be too weird on the PS4, but it works somehow, and I am loving it!

    8.0/10
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  5. Jul 20, 2017
    5
    I played more then 10 hours and couldn't finish the game once! This bothers me pretty much and I feel frustrated as I really hate theI played more then 10 hours and couldn't finish the game once! This bothers me pretty much and I feel frustrated as I really hate the unfairness of the game play. Almost everything is randomly generated and depends on your luck on the dice. The dice, however seem to have their own rules of 'randomness' and so many times, it's just ONE number missing to repair a module, which then, of course, ends your journey again.

    I don't understand how the developers made it so difficult and frustrating to get through. Even you are a good strategic and know how everything works, if you got the wrong numbers, you've got no chance at all! So, all this leaves a biter taste in my experience and if there's one thing I realy hate: Spending time in something, that gives you in return constant frustration! And I couldn't finish the game once... thank you very much!
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